We have recently started providing training in Preventive Conservation (conservation cleaning & housekeeping) for museum volunteers and facilities staff working in historic buildings .
(This is Christopher training volunteers at Hall Place, near Bexleyheath.)
'Preventive conservation’ - as the name suggests - is about preventing damage and deterioration as much as possible. Dirt is not only unsightly, but it can also cause damage by attracting moisture & pests, and by penetrating and impacting materials which are porous and delicate. The problem is that cleaning can also cause damage if it is carried out incorrectly or too enthusiastically; and so there's the rub (if you will forgive the corney pun…..)
Museum volunteers are increasingly being charged with the task of keeping interiors and collections clean (belt tightening has led to fewer paid museum positions) and proper training is absolutely essential for volunteers so they know how to care for historic buildings and collections properly, and crucially how NOT to cause damage when cleaning.
As well as a good understanding of all the issues impacting collections and interiors, hands on training is also absolutely essential, so our training days include practical training in brush vaccing and other basic conservation cleaning techniques, as well as a thorough overview of the main principles and issues involved.
We work closely with conservators and curators to create training days which cover the needs of a particular site, so if you’d be interested in knowing more just get in touch.